fashion photographers
Fashion

4 Emerging Fashion Photographers to Follow Now

They're redefining fashion imagery one image at a time.

“I’m deeply inspired by everyday people,” Thalía Gochez explains. “Whether it’s how a woman working at my local grocery store did her hair and makeup or how a man is standing at a bus stop.” Like many photographers of her generation, a humanistic sensitivity to her subjects as people in the world informs her work as much as aesthetic taste. Similarly, when asked who her dream subject would be, photographer Courtney Sofiah Yates described a collaborative project with a group of young people where they would create a story through photographs set in their favorite place. With this considered approach in mind, we've gathered four must-know emerging photographers who are helping to shape the future of fashion imagery. We asked them about their influences and inspirations and for one image they feel encapsulates their artistic approach.

fashion photographers

Photo: Courtesy of Thalía Gochez

What artists have had the most influence on your practice, and can you describe their impact on your work?

“My community has had the most influence on my creative practice. I’m deeply inspired by everyday people. Whether it’s how a woman working at my local grocery store did her hair and makeup or how a man is standing at a bus stop, I feel a deep connection to my community, and I’m constantly visualizing photographs in my head just walking down the street. I usually carry a little notebook and Polaroid camera and will consistently jot down ideas and concepts as a creative kickoff. “

Can you describe a moment when it really became clear that photography was your medium of choice?

“I naturally started out expressing my creativity through fashion styling but wanted to create concepts beyond a fashion-led visual. I decided to pick up a film camera from my local swap meet for a dollar and capture and amplify real stories in locations that the subjects have real connections to while keeping the fashion strong. I instantly realized the power of photography and how it can empower and connect community. I haven’t looked back since! I feel honored and an immense privilege to have access to every story I capture and hold it with so much integrity, love, and respect.”

Who is your dream subject and where would you photograph them?

“I’d love to photograph Kendrick Lamar. I’m super inspired by his artistry, of course, but also by how he remains connected to his community. It would be really amazing to capture him in his neighborhood.”

fashion photographers

Photo: Courtesy of Courtney Sofiah Yates

What artists have had the most influence on your practice, and can you describe their impact on your work?

“I think the artists that have influenced me the most are those that have given me more room to feel than I had before experiencing their work. It is impossible to give a short answer. Edward Yang, Camille Billops, Claire Denis—all film directors who've totally changed how I imagine portraying human pain. Musicians as varied as Summer Walker and Caetano Veloso have created new narratives about love. Writers Bell Hooks, James Baldwin, and Christina Sharpe as well as Jonathan Franzen, Octavia Butler, and Virginia Woolf, whether fiction or nonfiction, have changed me in some way. Right now, I am also inspired by the painter Chioma Ebinama, whose work totally stunned me when I first saw it just a few months ago. Ming Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, Dawoud Bey, Jeff Wall, and so many others are photographers I am grateful to learn from, though I do not know them personally. My friends Guarionex Rodriguez Jr., Chad Hillard, Rasaan Wyzard, Cheril Sanchez, among others, are current image makers I continue to learn from. These are some of the dopest and most loving artists I know, I believe connection between peers is the life-source for sustainability.”

Can you describe a moment when it really became clear that photography was your medium of choice?

“That moment was when I photoshopped my first photograph ever. I was like, 11 years old. The picture was of a green field with trees in the background and a terrible lens flare. I made the whole thing ridiculously saturated and contrasty, dropping the greens almost to a turquoise hue and the sky to a questionable yellow haze. I actually noticed recently that I had created a very similar hue for the grass in a newer image of mine, one of my favorites of the last year, and I'm reminded that the artist I was then knew what she was doing! But yeah, I was hooked from that day on.”

Who is your dream subject and where would you photograph them?

“I’d love to photograph a group of young people who are all having a hard time, whatever that means for them. I'd let them take me wherever they felt good, and we'd make a story with that place as the backdrop, and we'd tell the story through photographs. My other dream subject is Mariah Carey; I'd photograph her at a piano.”

fashion photographers

Photo: Courtesy of Lea Winkler

What artists have had the most influence on your practice, and can you describe their impact on your work?

“After seeing the Rineke Dijkstra retrospective at the Guggenheim, I wanted nothing more than to be a derivative of her work. Her ability to capture vulnerability and honesty has always drawn me to her. In my own practice, I want to create imagery that can speak to contemporary culture through these same principles. Whether it be through the subject, clothing, or environment—I want to call upon the timeless quality that her work enacts so well.”

Can you describe a moment when it really became clear that photography was your medium of choice?

“The camera has always been a device to open up worlds that are typically privatized or closed off to those on the outside. I have always yearned to connect with and explore the lives of others—for me, those in other creative fields. No other medium grants that sort of access where you can truly, and earnestly, have the option to connect.”

Who is your dream subject and where would you photograph them?

“My dream subject is someone who can mutually approach the process of photography with intention and respect. That is space where the magic can happen!”

What artists have had the most influence on your practice, and can you describe their impact on your work?

“I would have to say Ana Mendieta. My photo professor told me about her and I was in awe instantly. I never thought about photographing myself or anyone the way that she did.”

Can you describe a moment when it really became clear that photography was your medium of choice?

“It was always pretty clear to me from an early age, but I think the turning point was during college when I realized that photography interested me more than anything else I was studying, so I dropped out and committed myself to pursuing it as a career.”

Who is your dream subject and where would you photograph them?

“Miranda July. Hands down. I would love to photograph her in her natural element.”

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